When I worked outside the home, I liked it. Actually, I LOVED it. (And I feel the need to insert in here that I did sometimes miss my kids or wish I was home enjoying them or wonder if they were missing me. But I shouldn’t have to because of course I missed my kids.) Just to be clear here, I didn’t have a high-paying, impressive or important job…I worked at our local video store. Here are some of my favorite things about my old job:
Adult conversations, references, jokes, logic, etc.
Getting praised for a job well done, pay raises, promotions…
Not only being expected to complete a task from start to finish, but being given the uninterrupted time to do so!
Regular PAID breaks
Knowing what needed to be done and how to do it. No wondering if I’d done it right or if in ten years my customers were going to be in therapy crying about how I didn’t do xyz enough or did abc too much.
Never getting the “Oh, you’re a mom. Isn’t that *insert thinly veiled patronizing remark here*.”
Having an excuse/reason to wear nice clothes that didn’t have puke or poop on them, makeup and fix my hair. And yes, I do know that I could do this now, but when the only people who see me all day are either under 4 foot tall or legally bound to be with me, what is the point?
Unruly customers could just be thrown out.
Did I mention I got paid?
Why is it that I could come home from an eight-hour day at the video store saying “Whew! I’m glad I don’t have to go back for a few days” and people would nod in agreement, but if I were to say that about my current job (raising kids), people would be horrified? Is it so difficult to believe (or unreasonable to expect) that a mother might need a break from her children (job) every now and then? Why is it considered a job for me to get paid to raise someone else’s kids but when I’m raising my own (for free) it’s just what I “should” do…AND, I should love it, do it because of my unconditional love for them, and never, ever complain dammit!
Today I encountered an interesting post on one of the Facebook pages I “like”, Get Born Magazine, about getting away for a solo vacation and returning only to feel like getting away again. I don’t usually post on fan pages, but this one got my attention. I understand her sentiment completely and I responded so. She remarked that immediately after posting, 2 fans removed themselves from her page and she must have touched on a taboo subject. Yep.
If it’s taboo to admit you want a break from your precious little darlings, it’s beyond taboo to admit that after returning from said break you might miss it. That’s right. When it comes to children, at least for me, absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder. Spending a week sleeping when I feel like it (and only waking up when my body says so), reading an entire book from start to finish, eating warm food that hasn’t been touched or picked over by everyone else, even just sitting in the silence doing nothing all sound like heaven, and heaven would be a hard place to come back from without missing it! Even now, when it’s been two months since I had more than five minutes to myself and another several before I can reasonably expect to do so, I miss it. (And again, I feel the need to say “This doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids” when duh, of course I love my kids)
If you feel differently, hoorah for you. I, however, do not and refuse to pretend that every day is roses and I never wish I was in the Calgon commercial. Why aren’t we honest with each other? We HAVE to find the balance and be able to be supported in our real selves or everything we do to raise conscientious, honest children is for naught.